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Del McCoury

High, Lonesome and Blue – 2004 (Rounder)

Reviewed by Kevin Oliver

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CDs by Del McCoury

Perennial IBMA Entertainer of the Year winner Del McCoury has had an impressive run over the last decade or so, and his efforts are a large factor in the ever-widening popularity of bluegrass music. McCoury's growth came at a time when he was recording on Rounder, and this collection on Rounder's Heritage series collects tracks from all of the albums he issued during that period.

Though McCoury released an album with Rounder in 1972, this disc skips over that for the more cohesive batch of tunes dating from 1987's "McCoury Brothers" album to 1992's Grammy-winning "Cold Hard Facts." The selections included show McCoury testing the limits of bluegrass by tackling material from the country, rock, blues and folk traditions. What ties it all together is his unmistakably reedy tenor and the always superb musicianship of his band.

McCoury has moved on from Rounder and achieved even greater popularity in recent years, but the foundation for his current success can be found right here on this excellent collection.